Still trying to read through the Potter books before Book VII comes out, though I won't make it (a little Potter goes a long way for me). I'm about halfway through this one (Book IV). One thing I remember from the ending is the Black Mass in the graveyard with its perversions of both Baptism and the Lord's Supper, pointing out that the Evil characters in the story are particularly at war with the Christian faith.
Along those lines, John Granger has written a helpful book explaining the Christian significance of these books. The updated paperback edition has a chapter on Half Blood Prince and musings on possible outcomes for Book VII, Deathly Hallows. My interview with John is on the right under 'Key Articles.'
Debut novel for young readers from N.D. Wilson, son of Reformed minister and author Doug Wilson (click here to read Doug Wilson's blurb for my book, Talking of Dragons). This is a really well-done adventure story, and, as nearly every reviewer points out, draws inspiration from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Odyssey, and Robinson Crusoe, among others. The themes of true and false fatherhood are nicely explored as well. This is what Christian literature ought to be these days. Please skip Left Behind and read something like this instead.
I'm always amazed at how many people these days have never seen a Marx Brothers film, or (worse yet) never heard of them. My kids love these films, and so do I. My two oldest children often just call them 'the funny guys,' which says it all, I suppose. Best one of this batch is A Night at the Opera, but they're all worth the time.
From John Milton's Complete English Poems, I have just finished reading (as mentioned above) Comus: A Masque Presented at Ludlow Castle. The Everyman's Edition, which I picked up cheap at a second-hand shoppe, is outstanding and beautiful.
Also started re-reading this one for the first time in a long while. Tom and Huck were certainly among my top literary favourites when I was a boy (I once read Huckleberry Finn in a single day when I was in bed sick all day). One of the scenes I love the most, and always have, is the one in which Tom and Joe Harper are playing 'Robin Hood.' Twain tells us that they played it 'by the book,' which meant that they actually quoted passages from the text and allowed for no variation from the canon when it came to what actually happened. When Joe, playing Guy of Gisborne, wants to kill Robin Hood for once, Tom refuses with the all the enthusiasm of a Bible-thumper:
It don't get much better than that.